Did You Hear the One About the Agent Who Sold that Home…?


Dave Robison

By Dave Robison

Sometimes selling is complicated. Sometimes, a home can sit for weeks, months, even years before there’s so much as a bite. But with the right knowledge and dialogue, selling a home can be as easy as telling a buyer’s agent one simple thing. In 2011, I wrote a post about the power of one sentence to attract a client. Now, I’m going to let you in on another secret. Here’s how to sell a difficult home with just one line.

A few years ago, a seller in my local area called me and said, “Dave, I’ve had my home listed with my best friend for over a year. This is hard for me to do, but I need you to sell this house. Can you do it? Tell me the truth!”

To answer the question, I sold that home in one week to the first buyer who looked at it. Do you think it was luck? Not a chance.

Here’s how the conversation went with the agent who showed the home:

Agent: Dave, my buyer just saw your listing and it’s the first one he looked at. We have a lot of other homes scheduled to view and I wanted to ask, if you get anyone else interested in this property will you give me a call?

(Translation: We are going to shop around with your competition, are you cool with that?)

So to this I say, heck no I’m not cool with that! Why are agents telling buyers’ agents that they will call if they get offers? The Code of Ethics Article 1-15 specifically states: “REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.” How many agents do you know who are technically breaking this rule by disclosing the existence of offers without sellers’ permission?  Did the agent call the seller and ask for permission to disclose that they don’t have offers on the table? There’s a good chance they didn’t.

So what did I say to the agent?

Dave: No.

Agent: (Long pause). Huh?

Dave: I don’t have permission to disclose the existence of offers.

BINGO! (And there’s your one line zinger).

Agent: You won’t let me know?

Dave: I may or may not have offers but either way, I will not give you a warning if the property is about to be sold. Just be sure to tell your buyers what I’ve said because if they wake up in the morning and notice the home is sold, I don’t want them to be mad at you—or me—for not warning them.”

Agent: Ohhhh. (Another long pause). So what you’re saying is that if they’re interested, I better get you an offer.

Within an hour, an offer was on the table.

Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.

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